Home»divorce and children»Sesame Street vs. the World of Divorce

Sesame Street vs. the World of Divorce

By this time, Sesame Street is more than just a TV show to most children and even adults, it’s a movement. Sesame Street began their journey to entertain, educate, and value children in 1969, and they aren’t even close to stopping today. Sesame Street is the reason why most adults and children know their ABC’s, and now Sesame Street is the reason why children of divorce families can understand divorce. This past Tuesday, December 11th, 2012, Sesame Street launched their online segment called “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce,” in which Abby Cadabby makes Muppet history.

Divorce Spokesmuppet

Abby Cadabby is a pink, perpetually 3 year-old, fairy-in-training resident of Sesame Street who shared a major secret with viewers in the “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” segment: Her parents are divorced. Abby and her friends are drawing pictures of their houses, and when Abby draws two pictures (one of her dad’s house and one of her mom’s house) the Muppets are intrigued. Abby explains that her family doesn’t live in one house all together because of a thing called divorce. With the help of one of the neighbors, Abby tells her Muppet friends her parents had “grown up problems…they couldn’t fix…” but they still love her very much.

First Kid on the Block

This is not the first time Sesame Street tried to go where no Muppet has gone before. In the early 1990’s, the brains behind Sesame Street were incensed about a report announcing the projected rise in divorce. The Sesame Street team became determined to address the issue of divorce in as calculated and calm a manner possible, before more children were exposed to divorce. So they researched and drafted a divorce segment. The Sesame Street team chose Snuffleupapagus, the long eye-lashed mammoth, to be the spokesmuppet for divorce. In the filmed segment, a distraught Snuffy told Big Bird about his father moving out of the family cave because of a thing called divorce.

However, the results of the divorce masterpiece screen test indicated it was too much too soon. Although the episode had an entire song and dance about divorce sometimes being for the best and Snuffy’s parents still loving him, the children only perceived horrible messages about divorce. The children in the focus groups were in tears and fearful of their own parents divorcing. They said all arguments meant a divorce was coming, and they worried where Snuffy would live. The children even worried that Snuffy’s parents didn’t love him anymore.

Needless to say, Sesame Street killed the episode, in spite of the research, psychology consultants, and story boarding. It was obvious they failed to correctly broach the topic of divorce, so they avoided the subject for the next 20 years.

Where One Muppet Dared to Go

This time, the Sesame Street team approached divorce from a retrospective viewpoint. Abby’s parents already divorced, and she was already adjusted to the changes divorce caused. By having a spokesmuppet who already went through the divorce process as a role model, as opposed to Snuffy’s more insecure stage, the children are assured that divorce does not mean an end to love and familial bonds.

Written by

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

15,421 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>